Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Dealing With Chicken Butts

Hah, I got a kick out of John K's post about Chick Butts over on The Outdoor Journey. I simply love his blog because there's so few people out there who combine my love of triathlon with a nerd's eye to the nitty-gritty science of sports, along with urban gardening and urban sustainability.

I was sure I had a post about chick butts somewhere here on my own blog, and I found it, from May of 2006. Fortunately, we've somehow been doing something right with the last couple of batches of chicks because none of them have pasted up like the first batch. We don't get our chicks from mail order, and maybe that helps with the whole issue. I also make sure to really change out their water so that they all drink a lot, and we feed them chick starter instead of the layer pellets that the mature hens are eating. Whatever it is, it seems to be working since I haven't wiped a chick bottom in a couple of years.

Our newest couple of chicks are getting along towards full-grown and we're about to move their outdoor pen into the bigger chicken enclosure to start getting them used to the full-grown hens and vice versa.


hak said...

We were hoping to get the chicks locally, but Las Vegas is not known as an agricultural mecca so birds are in short supply. Our main feed store was only able to get bantams in and a few of the big hatcheries were back ordered until June! By then, our temps are pushing 100 and it's probably not smart to ship chicks at that point.

The surprising thing that worked, as I mentioned, was adding a bit of molasses to their drinking water.

Our chicks are fed turkey starter mash because of the slightly higher protein content (what's good for athletes is good for da birds) and lack of antibiotics.

Other than a short bout of sticky poo, all seems to be well.

Like I said, it's been about 25 years since I've raised chickens and I'm sure I wasn't paying that much attention the first time around anyway!

Maria said...

I appreciate your blog, having only happily come across it yesterday, as I began my quest to put my own up there. I like today's comment about chicks. We just got them 2 weeks ago, and Dorothy (a Dominique) seemed to have come home with a slight case of paste and boy did she let us know it! Both vocally (perpetual loud peeping) and visually, with continued attention to that butt. But, (pardon the pun), that was the only time, knock on wood, and she and her mini flock mates seem to be doing fine. Anyway, I 'm a runner, did my first half marathon a couple weeks ago, am into urban farming and sustainablility, and a mom of 2 growing kids with facial expressions like I've read you describe. Thanks for being out there.